North East Teaching Schools Partnership

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Note that this qualification is currently under review nationally. The information below shows how the current programme is delivered. You can register your interest in the programme by completing the short NPQH declaration of interest form and we will contact you when we have any further information.


Our programme comes with 7 hours of free, 1:1 coaching along with all the other benefits you get from registering with a 'gold' rated provider.


The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is the first choice qualification for anyone aspiring to be a headteacher or principal. Designed in collaboration with some of the country's leading headteachers and academics, NPQH will develop talented leaders from all backgrounds who can deliver educational excellence in a self-improving system, and high quality outcomes for pupils and students. If you are interested in finding out more information about the programme please contact us.


Who can apply and how can I apply?

You should be highly motivated to be a headteacher, no more than 12-18 months from applying for headship posts and ready to take up a headship as soon as you graduate.
You'll need to have the full support and endorsement of your headteacher, line manager or sponsor. Your line manager will also have to commit to playing an active role in your learning, and encourage and promote your involvement in leadership and other professional development opportunities. Applicants are expected to complete a Gateway application. You can request to be kept informed by completing the short NPQH declaration of interest form. We are currently awaiting information about the next application round for NPQH. Once we have this information we will send you the application form and guidance on how to complete it.


What's involved?

The redesigned NPQH follows a modular curriculum based on Masters' level criteria and focuses on developing the knowledge, skills and attributes of a successful headteacher. To achieve the NPQH qualification you'll need to successfully complete three essential and two elective modules involving extended case studies and related in-school assignments with a stronger focus on leading teaching, behaviour and performance management. It is expected that each module requires around 50 hours of time commitment. This includes module delivery (10 hours), workplace learning, reading, reflection and online learning. A total of 7 hours one-to-one coaching is included in the cost of the NPQH with NETSP. You should expect to require 6 full days out of school over the academic year for the modules plus 9 days in total for the school placement.



Leading and improving teaching

Through this module NPQH participants will know how to develop, improve and sustain high quality teaching across a school. They will also know and understand the importance of teachers' subject knowledge, effective planning and accurate pupil assessment.

The module will cover how to establish consistently high standards across a school and raise all teachers' expectations so that pupil attainment continues to improve. Participants will be taught how to achieve high standards of behaviour in the school and in all classrooms. They will understand a head's responsibilities in relation to teacher appraisal and how to hold all teachers to account for their performance. Practical strategies for monitoring individual performance, rewarding outstanding teachers and dealing effectively with underperforming teachers will be covered. Participants will also be taught how to evaluate teaching using Ofsted criteria and identify appropriate strategies for improvement.

Leading an effective school

This module will teach NPQH participants about the key management systems required in an effective school, particularly teacher performance, pupil behaviour and financial management. This will include legislation linked to these management systems. They will be taught how to implement a consistent and effective staff performance management system (teacher appraisal) so they can quickly tackle staff underperformance and address capability across the whole school. Human resources (e.g. employment legislation, staff recruitment and deployment) will be addressed.

A strong focus on high standards of pupil behaviour and safety across the school will make sure that participants can deliver systematic, consistent management of behaviour. Child protection and essential health/safety legislation and practice will be taught. Participants will also be taught about financial management and how to work with the governing body so financial resources are used efficiently and effectively for school improvement priorities.

Succeeding in headship

In this module NPQH participants will be prepared for their first headship. They will be taught the essential legal and accountability components of headship and governance, with a focus on how successful heads operate in practice. Knowing how to achieve a successful strategic relationship with the governing body and be held to account by it will be addressed, as will relationships with key groups within and beyond the school.

They will be taught how to identify and plan for the immediate, intermediate and long term improvements required and how to produce and implement appropriate plans. They will be taught how to use national and international evidence on effective headship so they can exercise professional judgment in a highly autonomous and accountable system.



There are separate face to face sessions for each module.

Curriculum development

In this module NPQH participants will be taught how to lead the development and implementation of a broad, flexible curriculum that includes the National Curriculum and is appropriate to context and needs. The curriculum should ensure all pupils achieve their full academic potential and improve their spiritual, moral, social and culture development. The module covers curriculum design, development and delivery, including use of effective assessment to monitor, support and improve pupils' progress. Participants will be taught about the importance of subject knowledge, curriculum-based budgeting, curriculum analysis and information technology to support teaching. Legal and statutory accountabilities in relation to the curriculum, including the teaching of synthetic phonics, key stages 2 and 4 requirements, will be covered.

Using evidence from high performing systems and international perspectives, NPQH participants will be shown how, within their context, to make appropriate and innovative use of their autonomy and curriculum freedoms. Establishing links with parents, the community and business partners will also be covered.

Using data and evidence to improve performance

This module teaches NPQH participants how to analyse and interpret a range of quantitative and qualitative data to monitor and evaluate progress, identify strengths and weaknesses and set school improvement priorities. School evaluation and working with key groups (governors, teachers, parents, pupils) to consider evidence will be included in this module. Participants will learn how to interrogate research evidence and use it discerningly.

Leading staff and effective teams

This module will enable NPQH participants to know how to work with staff to establish and implement effective professional development that improves teaching and pupil attainment. Participants will be taught about delegation, talent development, succession planning and team work that is characterised by high expectations and collective responsibility for school improvement.

Through examining their own practice, along with relevant national and international research, participants will know how to lead and develop teams committed to sharing and improving their practice. Participants will be taught how leaders can develop high performing teams that will significantly improve teaching across the curriculum.

Leading change for improvement

This module will teach NPQH participants the essential knowledge linked to leading change in order to achieve school improvement. Participants will review various case stories and accounts of practice to evaluate how leaders implement change for improvement and consider a range of approaches to leading change for improvement (including models from Michael Fullan, J Kotter, and G Bridge). Building on Michael Fullan's research work and using one of his analytical tools, participants will develop their own knowledge to help them lead change in their school when they take up headship.

Leadership in diverse contexts

This module will give NPQH participants access to a range of half modules created by the National College, academy/school leaders and other organisations which will emphasise the unique features of specific education contexts. Selection of half modules will reflect the diverse and changing nature of schools and contexts where headship recruitment can be a challenge. Participants will consider the leadership implications of these contexts.

Closing the gap

This module will teach NPQH participants how to close gaps in achievement and attainment that can occur across specific groups of pupils, particularly addressing the needs of disadvantaged pupils, including those entitled to free school meals. The module considers how to identify gaps, diagnose causes and address within-school variation (e.g. differences in performance by teachers with similar groups of pupils). Evidence drawn from research will be used to demonstrate which pupils perform least well nationally and why.

Using examples drawn from headship, participants will be taught about strategies for monitoring, evaluating, reviewing and improving pupil attainment, improving teacher performance and addressing within school variation. They will also learn how to make sure teachers work effectively together to narrow identified gaps.

Leading inclusion: achievement for all

This module covers the principles and practice of leading for inclusion. It teaches NPQH participants how to improve practice and raise expectations so that all pupils, but particularly those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, can achieve. NPQH participants will be taught how to implement some of the key strategies from the DfE project 'Achievement for All' (AfA) - improving assessment, tracking and intervention; working more effectively with parents; and improving wider outcomes for children and young people.

School improvement through effective partnerships

This module will teach NPQH participants how to work successfully with different partners to address school improvement priorities. Using international research evidence drawn from a range of sectors, participants will consider how to establish both formal and informal partnerships that benefit pupils. Participants will know how to secure more effective links with the school's existing partners and be taught about the range of school improvement partnerships with, for example, teaching schools, chains of academies, voluntary and business organisations.

It is possible to access the elective modules on a stand alone basis.

You will also complete a placement of a minimum of nine days at another school.

Once you have completed the above, you will then need to do a final assessment. Assessment focuses on tasks linked to leadership and school improvement activities undertaken in the workplace and placement school. You will need to: demonstrate the impact that your work on NPQH has had on your own leadership and school outcomes, as well as demonstrate how you have drawn on learning from essential and elective modules.


It is possible to request an exemption from part of this programme, based on completion of previous National College courses or certain postgraduate qualifications. You can learn more information about these on the National College website.


NPQH can be completed in 6-18 months.

Cost - The recommended retail price (RRP) for the NPQH programme is £2557. Our offer of £1950 includes a substantial discount and final assessment costs, with the exception of the below.


Non-maintained schools, independent schools and schools from outside England will need to pay for the assessment element of the programme (£1500)


The programme will be delivered by the North East Teaching Schools Partnership
NETSP consists of Teaching Schools from different parts of the region and Newcastle University. The Programme Co-ordinator is Dr. Anna Reid, Deputy Director of the North Leadership Centre at Newcastle University. (



NETSP is proud to be rated GOLD in leadership and management, and quality of provision by National College for Teaching and Leadership.

North East Teaching Schools Partnership
School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
Newcastle University,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU

T. 0191 208 8455

Follow us on Twitter: @thenetsp